Bold new look proposed for prominent city building

A planning application has been submitted proposing a significant facelift for Sheffield’s Gaumont building, at the junction between Barker’s Pool and Burgess Street.

The improvement works fall within the wider Heart of the City II development scheme – led by the council and its Strategic Development Partner, Queensberry.

Plans would see the building’s current red steel frame completely removed and replaced with a contemporary design.

A planning application for an adjoining Radisson Blu hotel, which will have entrance lobbies located on Pinstone Street and Burgess Street, has also been submitted in recent weeks.

The Gaumont Building is between John Lewis, the Peace Gardens and Fargate and the site has a rich history in the city centre.

Having originally opened in 1927 as the stylish Regent Theatre, the building went on to become the Gaumont Theatre in 1946 – hosting high-profile groups such as The Beatles.

By 1969, the original theatre décor was stripped out and, following demolition in 1985, it was transformed into a cinema, before it later became a nightclub.

The new façade proposals for the building, designed by Sheffield-based HLM Architects, who are also working on the Radisson Blu hotel, take inspiration from the building’s origins as the Regent Theatre.

Delia Harmston, HLM’s studio lead, said: “The final concept for the façade is a playful reinterpretation of features of the Regent Cinema.

“The new façade provides an elegant and refined addition to Barker’s Pool which respects the civic location of the site.

“To the corner of Barker’s Pool and Burgess Street a double height entrance has been formed, creating a generous public entrance to the building, and internal alterations improve accessibility throughout the building.”

Plans also include the potential for external green ‘living walls’, providing environmental and sustainability benefits.

Although the final use of the building is not yet confirmed, it is anticipated retail will remain at the ground floor along Barker’s Pool.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, added: “The Gaumont is in an important position within the city centre.

“With a new Radisson Blu planned next door and with the great work taking place on Pinstone Street, I don’t think many people in the city would disagree that the existing look of the Gaumont is outdated and tired, and in need of a revamp.

“Across the Heart of the City scheme, we have tried to showcase heritage wherever possible, so I am delighted to see the architect using the Regent Theatre as their inspiration for the new design, while still creating something modern, fresh and exciting.”

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